Multiverse News

New Scientist predicts end of multiverse?

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Fat chance. They’d be out of business. But they get a bit more business by pretending.

Here’s the schtick:

In Carroll’s theory, even the branching multiverse must come to an end. The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, so cosmologists think its death will have a lot in common with its birth, with no recognisable matter and only a single quantum field. In that case, there will once again be no observers to bring quantum fluctuations to life.

The simplicity of the theory impresses Aaronson: “I think he’s fundamentally right about it. I’m basically sold.”

Proponents of eternal inflation are sticking to their story, however. “I’m quite sympathetic to Sean’s desire not to have Boltzmann brains,” says Lloyd. Nevertheless, he and Alan Guth at MIT – one of the founders of the theory of inflation – both think it possible that the ever-bubbling multiverse can exist even if all of Carroll’s mathematics are correct, and they are working on a paper to make that case.

There’s currently no way to resolve the debate, but David Wallace at the University of Oxford says Carroll’s theory may also have practical consequences, for example in helping us better understand the way matter behaves at the quantum level.

Sean Carroll? Yeah.

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3 Replies to “New Scientist predicts end of multiverse?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Sean’s theory should he called the “Alpha & Omega” multiverse theory? He just needs to flesh out the “Observer” angle.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    The one thing in science that separates a hypothesis from a solid theory is the fact that a solid theory is testable and makes successful predictions, whereas a hypothesis is not. And even though inflation was recently close to making the transition from hypothesis to theory, the argument that results are inconclusive (dust question) and that this was a post hoc prediction after the evidence was in hand, instead of being a prescient prediction prior to the discovery of evidence, has prevented inflation from being a solid scientific theory:

    Bang for the Buck: What the BICEP2 Consortium’s Discovery Means – Rob Sheldon – March 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Turning to theorists, the team looked at whether this effect was predicted by the models. Reconstructing the probable scenario, somebody dragged up a gravity wave model of the early universe and said that if the matter was compressed in one direction, say by a gravity wave, then the CMB light would get preferentially polarized. But the effect was way too small to explain the data. Then somebody else had a brainstorm and suggested that inflation would flatten the background but not the foreground, effectively making the signal stand out or become amplified. Since all these models have three or four dials, the theorists feverishly got to work and found a setting of the dials that matched the data. (One of common pitfalls of all modelers is to confuse curve fitting with prediction — to confuse the assumptions of the model with the conclusions of the fit.)
    Now the BICEP2 consortium had the opposite problem. They had first struggled with too big a signal for the theory, and now they had too important a theory for the signal. They spent another year double-checking, trying out alternative explanations, waiting for confirmation. The replacement for BICEP2, the Keck, went into operation and when it saw the same signal, they felt confident enough to release their paper.
    Isn’t this the very model of propriety in science — careful measurement, skeptical modeling, confirmatory measurements, cautious publication? Why then do I give this paper a 1 in 10^60 chance of being correct?
    Two independent models that have never been confirmed are both needed to process the data and arrive at an explanation. Two extremely unlikely chance coincidences — since the two models are not related to each other — are needed to produce the effect. Multiple dials in each unconfirmed theory having unconstrained parameters have to be adjusted to get the model to agree. There are just too many ways in which the assumptions of the modelers are unconsciously affecting the results for this to be believed. As Richard Feynman said about physics, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....83451.html

    Rumours swirl over credibility of big bang ripple find – 13 May 2014
    Excerpt: The news that ripples in space-time, called gravitational waves, had been spotted stunned the physics community earlier this year. This week, rumours began swirling that the scientists who reported the find have now admitted to making a mistake. The team missed a key detail in its analysis of galactic dust, the rumours suggest, making it more likely that the signal came from a source other than gravitational waves.,,,
    Almost as soon as the buzz surrounding the discovery died down, doubts began cropping up. BICEP2’s signal was based on the alignment – or polarisation – of the first light emitted in the universe, a mere 380,000 years after the big bang. But other things could mimic the signal created by this light, such as the ashes of exploding stars or dust in our own galaxy.
    The BICEP2 team strongly ruled out some of these alternative explanations, but there are others it can’t rule out yet. The first possible tiebreaker is expected to come from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which is set to release its own polarisation maps of the entire sky in October.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LGtihuqCc

    How this all relates to Intelligent Design is that at about the same time (mid-March 2014) as the much ballyhooed, and overblown, polarisation/gravitation-wave findings were released to the public with great fanfare, in a church, in New Orleans, another paper, that also deals with the properties of light from the early universe, was also released to much less fanfare. But what separates these two papers is that, one, the Intelligent Design paper featured a prescient prediction prior to the discovery of the evidence being made, and two, the evidence is far more trustworthy/robust in its integrity than the polarisation evidence for gravitational waves currently is/are. Here is that paper was so unfortunately ignored by the larger scientific community:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    Prediction: DLO: Within the range of values of a given parameter p that yield near – optimal livability, p will fall into that subrange of values that maximize discoverability (given constraints of elegance are not violated).
    In every case that I was able to make calculations regarding whether the fundamental parameters of physics are optimized in this way, they appear to pass the test.[iv] This alone is significant since this hypothesis is falsifiable in the sense that one could find data that potentially disconfirms it – namely, cases in which as best as we can determining, such as a case in which changing the value of a fundamental parameter – such as the fine – structure constant – increases discoverability while not negatively affecting livability.[v] Below, I will look at a case from cosmology where this thesis could have been disconfirmed but was not.,,,
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could beanywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    That a highly dubious finding in science would trump a highly successful finding in science in terms of the excitement it generated is a sad testimony to the state of science in America today.

    Supplemental note:

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability
    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”
    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I’ve edited post 2 for clarity (it was a mess):

    Why Intelligent Design is a Solid Scientific Theory –

    The one thing in science that separates a budding scientific hypothesis from becoming a solid scientific theory is the fact that a solid scientific theory has been tested and has made a successful prediction(s) for what evidence(s) we will find, whereas a hypothesis has not. And even though inflation was recently close to making the transition from being a budding scientific hypothesis to becoming a solid scientific theory, the criticism that gravitational wave results are inconclusive (i.e. the cosmic dust question) and that the prediction was a post hoc prediction after the evidence was in hand, instead of being a prescient prediction prior to the evidence being in hand, has prevented the inflation hypothesis from being formally accepted as a solid scientific theory. Here are two papers that explain why the hypothesis of inflation has not been confirmed by the putative finding of gravitational waves.

    Rumours swirl over credibility of big bang ripple find – 13 May 2014
    Excerpt: The news that ripples in space-time, called gravitational waves, had been spotted stunned the physics community earlier this year. This week, rumours began swirling that the scientists who reported the find have now admitted to making a mistake. The team missed a key detail in its analysis of galactic dust, the rumours suggest, making it more likely that the signal came from a source other than gravitational waves.,,,
    Almost as soon as the buzz surrounding the discovery died down, doubts began cropping up. BICEP2?s signal was based on the alignment – or polarisation – of the first light emitted in the universe, a mere 380,000 years after the big bang. But other things could mimic the signal created by this light, such as the ashes of exploding stars or dust in our own galaxy.
    The BICEP2 team strongly ruled out some of these alternative explanations, but there are others it can’t rule out yet. The first possible tiebreaker is expected to come from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which is set to release its own polarisation maps of the entire sky in October.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LGtihuqCc

    Bang for the Buck: What the BICEP2 Consortium’s Discovery Means – Rob Sheldon – March 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Turning to theorists, the team looked at whether this effect was predicted by the models. Reconstructing the probable scenario, somebody dragged up a gravity wave model of the early universe and said that if the matter was compressed in one direction, say by a gravity wave, then the CMB light would get preferentially polarized. But the effect was way too small to explain the data. Then somebody else had a brainstorm and suggested that inflation would flatten the background but not the foreground, effectively making the signal stand out or become amplified. Since all these models have three or four dials, the theorists feverishly got to work and found a setting of the dials that matched the data. (One of common pitfalls of all modelers is to confuse curve fitting with prediction — to confuse the assumptions of the model with the conclusions of the fit.)
    Now the BICEP2 consortium had the opposite problem. They had first struggled with too big a signal for the theory, and now they had too important a theory for the signal. They spent another year double-checking, trying out alternative explanations, waiting for confirmation. The replacement for BICEP2, the Keck, went into operation and when it saw the same signal, they felt confident enough to release their paper.
    Isn’t this the very model of propriety in science — careful measurement, skeptical modeling, confirmatory measurements, cautious publication? Why then do I give this paper a 1 in 10^60 chance of being correct?
    Two independent models that have never been confirmed are both needed to process the data and arrive at an explanation. Two extremely unlikely chance coincidences — since the two models are not related to each other — are needed to produce the effect. Multiple dials in each unconfirmed theory having unconstrained parameters have to be adjusted to get the model to agree. There are just too many ways in which the assumptions of the modelers are unconsciously affecting the results for this to be believed. As Richard Feynman said about physics, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....83451.html

    How all this relates to Intelligent Design being a solid scientific theory, instead of just a budding hypothesis, is that at about the same time, (mid-March 2014), as the much ballyhooed, and IMHO overblown, polarisation/gravitation-wave findings were released with great fanfare from the media to the public, another paper was also released to the public. The paper was released much less fanfare from the press. In fact I don’t think a single science news source covered the release then nor have any covered it since. The ‘pre-print’ paper was released at a church in New Orleans during the Craig-Carroll debate at the “Greer-Heard Point/Counterpoint Forum on Cosmology and Existence of God”. The paper, like the gravitational wave findings, also deals with reading certain properties of light coming from the early universe, But what dramatically separates these two papers/findings is that, one, the Intelligent Design paper featured a prescient prediction prior to the discovery of evidence supporting its hypothesis, and two, the evidence discovered for the hypothesis is far more trustworthy/robust in its integrity than the polarisation evidence for gravitational waves currently is. Here is that Intelligent Design paper that was, and still is, ignored by the larger scientific community:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    Prediction: DLO: Within the range of values of a given parameter p that yield near – optimal livability, p will fall into that subrange of values that maximize discoverability (given constraints of elegance are not violated).
    In every case that I was able to make calculations regarding whether the fundamental parameters of physics are optimized in this way, they appear to pass the test.[iv] This alone is significant since this hypothesis is falsifiable in the sense that one could find data that potentially disconfirms it – namely, cases in which as best as we can determining, such as a case in which changing the value of a fundamental parameter – such as the fine – structure constant – increases discoverability while not negatively affecting livability.[v] Below, I will look at a case from cosmology where this thesis could have been disconfirmed but was not.,,,
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could beanywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf
    Here is a video of Dr. Collins announcing the paper:
    Greer Heard Forum: Robin Collins – “God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBWmMU7BXGE

    That such a dubious finding in science supporting inflation would trump such a successful finding in science, in terms of the excitement it generated in the press, is a sad testimony to the state of science in America today.

    Supplemental note: This prediction was, in large measure, born out of Guillermo Gonzalez’s work on the Privileged Planet thesis:

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability
    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”
    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Verse and Music:

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For this is what the LORD says– he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited– he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

    He Noticed a Public Piano – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0nDhQEIdSQ

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